They argue with considerable cogency that determinism is very far from affording any ground for believing in the impotence of will.
And the determinism of modern science no longer consists in a crude denial of the reality of conscious processes, or an attempt to explain them as only a sublimated form of matter and its movements; it is content to admit the relative independence of the world of consciousness, while it maintains that laws and hypotheses sufficient to explain material processes may be extended to and will be discovered to be valid of the changing sequences of conscious states of mind.
Moreover, the argument by means of which Chrysippus endeavoured to prove the compatibility of determinism with ethical responsibility is in some respects an anticipation of modern views.
Nor, finally, is the last defensive position of scientific determinism - the theory, namely, that the freedom of the will is incompatible with the doctrine of the conservation of energy - to be accepted without question.
Descartes advocates a kind of freedom which is apparently consistent with forms both of determinism and indeterminism.
In more recent times the controversy has been concerned either with the attempted proof of determinism by the advocates of psychological Hedonism, an attempt which at the present time is generally admitted to have failed; or with the new biological knowledge concerning the influence of heredity and environment in its bearing upon the development of character and the possibility of freedom.
He brought his pantheism and his determinism with him to the study of Descartes from the mystical theologians of his race.
It was not less against this form of idealism than against the determinism of the early physicists that Socrates protested.
And though the Stoic doctrine of determinism did not, when applied to moral problems, advance much beyond the reiteration of arguments derived from the universal validity of the principles of causality, nor the Epicurean counter-assertion of freedom avoid the error of regarding chance as a real cause and universal contingency as an explanation of the universe, it was nevertheless a real step forward to perceive the existence of the problem.
The materialism of Hobbes, the pantheism of Spinoza, the empiricism of Locke, the determinism of Leibnitz, Collins' necessitarianism, Dodwell's denial of the natural immortality of the soul, rationalistic attacks on Christianity, and the morality of the sensationalists - all these he opposed with a thorough conviction of the truth of the principles which he advocated.